Publication details [#59638]

Lu, Pei Hua. 2015. “Gossip makes us one”. A qualitative analysis of the role of gossip in the process of Taiwanese immigrants’ social integration in Canada. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 25 (2) : 279–304.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Intergroup marriage has been widely used as an indicator to predict the social integration of immigrants. The assumption is that higher rates of intergroup marriage represent more harmonious outcome of an integrated society. As compared to the U.S., first and 1.5 generation immigrants in Canada have been found to be less likely to intermarry, and their cultural preference of a spouse of the same race/ethnicity has been argued to be the key factor. However, the process of how these immigrants’ cultural preference is maintained in a multicultural context requires exploration. This study elaborates on the role of gossip in the process of the maintaining of ethnic boundaries among recent immigrants using the case of Taiwanese immigrants in Canada. With an examination of their attitudes toward intergroup marriage, the results of the role of gossip indicate, 1) the seemingly impermeable ethnic boundaries established by recent immigrants can be challenged and modified through gossip, and 2) gossip makes the process of integration possible along both horizontal (i.e., coethnic peer of the same cohort) and vertical (i.e., parents to children and vice versa) axis within the same race/ethnic group of immigrants.